We have decided to forgo Christmas presents this year

Usually, Ivylad is not happy until you cannot see the floor under the tree. That’s part of his upbringing, Christmas was very big in his house, his mom still buys and buys and buys gifts until she can’t walk into her closet, and there’s been years where she forgot a wrapped present hidden in the back of her closet and it’s been given the next year.

For me, Christmas was more subdued. Oh, we still had the nice roast turkey meal and the presents, but not nearly as many and no stockings. That’s just the way it was. So for me, Christmas can be a bit of a burden, because Ivylad will exclaim that he can still see a patch of floor under the tree and we must rush out to buy another gift to cover it up.

This year, though, we offered the Ivykids a choice. Presents as usual, or a trip to Busch Gardens Tampa for three days and two nights. It looks like that the price would be about the same either way, and I was actually pleasantly surprised at the vacation package offered by Busch Gardens. It would have been much more expensive if we’d tried to get the hotel and the tickets separately.

Ivyboy is 16, Ivygirl is 13, so there’s not really much time left before they’re off to college. (Where did the time go?)

So this year, we’re giving memories for Christmas.

Awww, yay. 'T’warms the cockles of my heart to see such family togetherness. Y’all have fun now, hear? :slight_smile:

Make sure you keep the receipt!

:smiley:

I didn’t mean to come off as glurgy. I’m just a bit panicked, realizing my son will be out of the house in another year and a half :eek: and I’ve only got about another four years before my daughter is out the door.

So, for the next several months, we’re going to do more daytrips and weekends as a family. Usually it’s “get to the weekend so we can run errands, do chores, and get ready to go back to work/school on Monday” but we’re going to start taking time off to do more fun stuff.

Naw, that sounds cool. My mom always insists on doing a big Christmas production, then gets all stressed out and pissy about it. The next day, it’s always, “That’s it! That’s the last year! I’m never doing Christmas again!” About nine months later, she volunteers to do it again. One of these days, my dad and I are going to conspire to ship her to a resort in Mexico for Christmas. By herself. It’s not that we don’t want her around, it’s just that we recognize that we’re the source for about 90% of her holiday grief.

I think that is a way cool idea ivylass. I’m bettin’ the ivykids will remember this Christmas as one of the best ever.

My folks are giving us crafts they’ve made on their RV adventure this year. I treasure stuff like that more than the store-bought stuff. I’ve got a shawl and a scarf I knitted for my step-mom’s gift, and I suppose we’ll get my dad another gift card for Home Depot so he can stock up on his woodworking supplies.

This will be our first Christmas sans daughter :frowning: but the recovery from surgery ate up all of FCD’s vacation time. And she is flying up here just after New Years for a week before classes start…

However, we’re not going to go to my brother’s for Christmas breakfast, nor will we go to Mom’s. We’re just staying home, quietly, alone. And I don’t want to bother with gifts, either - at least for each other. We’ll send stuff to his folks, my mom, our niece and nephews, and to our kid, but that’s it.

Maybe we’ll volunteer or something.

That sounds really cool.

I’d sure like to have a more “intimate” Christmas. Christmas for me is usually two or three days of total stress, noise, and work. It consists of huge family gatherings and bunches of running around. It’s been this way ever since I left home. I’d prefer to just have Christmas with husband and kids, but that is not to be. Maybe someday…

Our family is batting around the idea of only getting gifts for the under-18 set this year. I hope it turns out well. We did the name-drawing for gifts thing one year, but it didn’t work out because one person didn’t buy a gift for the person he was supposed to.

I haven’t really been able to capture the Christmas spirit for the last few years. If we cut back on the gift-giving, it may or may not help, but at least I won’t be as broke in January.

That’s what we’ve done outside the family. Internally, we exchange gifts with each other, but gifts for the nieces and nephews, not the BILs or SILs. It can get pretty expensive if you have to buy gifts for all the relations.

I think it’s great idea, Ivylass! Memories last much longer than toys/gifts in most instances.

Think, also, of all the other experiences they’ll have travelling.

Just don’t forget to enroll them in the frequent flyer program of whatever airline you’re using—I am just assuming fromt he “tone” of your post that you will be flying, right? It’s never to early to start accumulating those miles & points.

Hope it is a special experience for all involved, and an early Merry Christmas to you.

Brilliant idea, Ivylass.

Last year the little flodnaks got a trip to Disney World instead of presents under the tree. I suspect they’d trade the presents this year for another trip like that :wink: And they were only four and ten at the time, with older kids I bet it will be even better.

Yeah, but when you’re 95 years old, the memories are gone, and you don’t have any cool stuff to leave behind to your survivors.

Won’t somebody think of the children—the children seven decades from now, who won’t inherit an antique X-Box when their great-great-great-grand uncle kicks the bucket! :smiley:

I think it is an awesome idea!

Friends of ours give the family present ( they have four kids from 11 down) in the form of something they can all use.

last year it was a family cruise.

This year it is was a sweet, sweet inground swimming pool installed. (I cannot wait until next summer!)

Personally, I would love to see an Xmas that was a Handmade Xmas. All presents to and fro family members have to be handmade.

This year was the first time we did a theme for presents for the neice and nephews (ages 2-6). Books. Only books.

It was a breeze to shop like this. And I am going to gently encourage next year’s theme to be either puzzles or board games ( as I already have stash for next year started.)

Nope.

Check my location. Busch Gardens is in Tampa. Can you do the math? :wink:

Good lord, I doubt the kids could pull out what they got as gifts last year from the disaster area that is their room. My daughter’s idea of cleaning is shoving everying to the baseboards, so the inner part of the floor is clear. My son is a bit better, but not by much. At least a trip won’t leave broken toys or ripped clothing to be retrieved from the bottom of the closet. :wink:

Volunteering is great. But a word to the wise: you need to get going with that ASAP. We tried to donate our time one year and by the time we decided what we wanted to do, they no longer needed volunteers.

It sounds like you’ll be having a very nice holiday.